Tasmania allocates funding under forest agreement

Friday 25 Oct 2013

The State Government is getting on with the job of implementing key elements of the Tasmanian Forest Agreement which is giving industry the confidence to invest in the future. Mr Green announced a AU$1.05 million project at Torenius Timber at Forcett to expand and value-add to its sawmilling business at Forcett.

“The development is being supported by a $750,000 grant under the TFA which will see the company produce higher value timber products. The company is expanding its timber drying operations, building a solar kiln and installing a new finger jointing line,” Mr Green said. Mr Green said the construction of an integrated firewood handling facility would also process residues from the mill.

Mr Torenius said his company’s investment not only secured existing jobs at his sawmill but would create new job opportunities. “Skilled timber mill workers in the district lost their jobs when the Kelly Mill at Dunalley was destroyed in bushfires and some of those workers will now have chance to stay and work in our community,” Mr Torenius said.

Mr Green said the Tasmanian Forest Agreement has put the forest industry on a path that provides both security and new opportunities for the future. “We have already seen innovative new growth plans from Britton Timbers and Ta Ann in Smithton, SFM Environmental Solutions in Hobart, Barry Hill Timbers near Ulverstone and at Artec Industries at Bell Bay.

“Artec is the State’s only major residue processing facility and its ability to continue operating is crucial to the future of the industry. Funding assistance of AU$5.5 million has been made available through the TFA Residue Market Facilitation program to enable the business to consolidate its operations through greater efficiencies at its Bell Bay operation.

Mr Green also announced that the Tasmanian Native Forest High Quality Sawlog Contract Voluntary Buyback Program has also been finalised. Applications have been accepted from four sawmillers seeking to retire all or part of their minimum contracted volume under the TFA.

“This federally funded $15 million program has enabled sawmillers to voluntarily reduce their contracted volume to match the timber volumes agreed under the TFA.

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